Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

2017 Graduate: Ball State University and TCM

Earlier this year I took part in my first on-line film class, and my first on-line class ever: a history and discussion of director Alfred Hitchcock and his six decades of filmmaking, presented by Turner Classic Movies and Ball State University, and taught by Richard L. Edwards, a professor at BSU in Muncie, Indiana.

This free 6-week course covered Hitchcock films ranging from his silent period of the 1920s to his final output of modern films in the 1970s, and featured lecture videos, learning modules, games, and quizzes. It ran from June to August, and students had the option of taking part in all six weeks of daily courses, or stopping by any day or time they wanted. I had an incentive for wanting to forge my way through the entire course: a Ball State/TCM ‘certificate of completion’, given to everyone who attended every class, and passed every test:


So even though it’s unofficial, and not truly a Ball State diploma, I still feel a bit proud of my accomplishment. I only wish I’d taken the film noir course they’d offered two years ago, which I’d found out about too late and missed. Hopefully next year, they’ll offer a course in cheesy horror and science fiction films of the 1950s, which you can bet I’ll be signing up for.

14 comments on “2017 Graduate: Ball State University and TCM

  1. Dracula
    12/28/17

    Congratulations, when is the graduation ceremony? Will all CM followers be invited?

    • Todd B
      12/28/17

      The ceremony took place at my apartment in Peoria on August 6th, with Chipotle catering the event. All Monolith followers were invited, but unfortunately, I failed to send out invitations, so nobody showed up.

  2. Lindsey
    12/28/17

    They should hire the two of us to teach that hypothetical cheesy sci-fi course! If we’re feeling particularly evil, we can subject the students to repeated screenings of Invasion of the Star Creatures.

    • Todd B
      12/28/17

      That would be awesome: a six-week course of pure cinematic cheese, taught by two experts in the field! But perhaps we should limit screenings of Star Creatures to just one…unless it’s our plan to have an empty class by the end of the semester.

  3. Dracula
    12/28/17

    How much is tuition for your course?

    • Todd B
      12/29/17

      $3,500 per semester…or nothing, if you live within driving distance of either teacher’s home.

  4. Awesome job! I’d have made the party celebrations had I known you might feature Jaws as opposed to a Hitch film to all invitees.

    • Todd B
      12/30/17

      Still make ’em…I’ll be watching Jaws: The Revenge in July, and you’re invited!

  5. Julie Dunning
    12/30/17

    Congratulations Todd! This is really kewl! Especially if that’s an image of the real certificate and not one you made lol. I hope you get to put a great big fat credential at the end of your name now! I hope you enjoyed the course.

    • Todd B
      12/30/17

      Thanks Julie! It’s a real certificate all right…sent to me as a digital file, but I’ll get it printed soon. And yeah, the course was fun…I learned a lot about Hitchcock’s early years, things I hadn’t known before, and though I already liked the silent films of his I’ve seen, the course helped me appreciate them even more.

  6. Dracula
    12/31/17

    Did Hitchcock make a cameo in any of his silent films?

    • Todd B
      12/31/17

      Yes, in three, if you count Blackmail (1929) as a silent (it was also released as a talkie); the other two were The Lodger (1927) and Easy Virtue (1928).

  7. Dracula
    1/1/18

    Checking to see if you paid attention during class!

    • Todd B
      1/1/18

      Well, I kinda cheated on that one…but I did already know about Blackmail being both a silent and a sound film, if that counts for anything!

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Review Totals

Movies Reviewed: 222

From the Monolith: 123

Movies by Decade

1920s – 0
1930s – 6
1940s – 19
1950s – 35
1960s – 34
1970s – 35
1980s – 33
1990s – 6
2000s – 13
2010s – 41

Movies by Genre

Action/Adventure – 40
Comedy – 35
Crime – 21
Documentary – 5
Drama – 24
Horror – 38
Musical – 1
Mystery/Thriller – 19
Romance – 3
Sci-Fi/Fantasy – 27
Western – 8

Movies by CM Rating

10 star – 10
9 star – 28
8 star – 35
7 star – 31
6 star – 22
5 star – 22
4 star – 23
3 star – 18
2 star – 18
1 star – 12
0 star – 3

Movies by MPAA Rating

Pre-1968 – 89
G – 1
PG – 32
PG-13 – 34
R – 58
NC-17 – 0
TV and Unrated – 8

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